Local Politics

Perdue orders 7 percent budget cuts

Posted January 15, 2009 3:46 p.m. EST
Updated March 10, 2009 5:35 a.m. EDT

— Gov. Beverly Perdue on Thursday told state agencies to cut spending by 7 percent to help counteract a growing deficit in the state budget.

“The global recession has forced our state to make tough financial decisions,” Perdue said in a statement. “North Carolina has earned a reputation for managing our money wisely, and I will continue our state’s practice of sound fiscal management. I will meet my constitutional obligation to balance the budget, and I will meet it responsibly.”

Fiscal analysts said this week that the deficit had grown from earlier forecasts and would likely hit $2 billion this fiscal year. The current state budget runs through June 30.

Former Gov. Mike Easley last fall ordered agencies to cut their budgets by 2 percent and later increased the demand to up to 5 percent. Public schools, Medicaid and a few other programs are exempt from the cuts.

In addition to the 7 percent cuts, Perdue implemented a state government hiring freeze, banned travel and training and stopped the purchase of all goods and services aside from routine supplies and equipment and classroom instructional materials.

Pay-as-you-go appropriations for capital improvements and repair and renovation projects also were placed on hold.

Perdue visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday to ask members of the state's congressional delegation and President-elect Barack Obama's incoming administration for federal help with the deficit.